California state laws require companies to inform the authorities about layoffs that take place in local units. Thanks to this, details of the cuts in Activision Blizzard became known.
According to an Activision Blizzard report, the company will part ways with 899 California employees by March 30.
In which offices layoffs will take place:
- Blizzard Entertainment headquarters — 479 people;
- Activision publishing division — 130 people;
- Activision headquarters — 79 people;
- Toys For Bob — 86 people;
- Sledgehammer Games — 76 people;
- Infinity Ward — 49 people.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the office of Toys For Bob will be closed. It is assumed that Sledgehammer Games will also lose its office. Two weeks ago, insider Tom Henderson reported that her staff would have to work remotely until a new office was found.
The layoffs at Activision Blizzard's California divisions are part of the large—scale layoffs at Microsoft, which were announced on January 25. As part of them, a total of 1,900 people will lose their jobs at Xbox, Activision Blizzard and ZeniMax Media. According to the Activision Blizzard report, it accounts for the bulk of layoffs.
We do not yet know how many Activision Blizzard employees will be laid off in other regions. In addition to California, the company has offices in seven other U.S. states and 15 countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Sweden, Poland and Australia.
Immediately after it became known about the layoffs in the Microsoft gaming division, rumors appeared on the network that they would affect almost all studios working on games in the Call of Duty series. In particular, the already mentioned Sledgehammer Games, Infinity Ward and Toys For Bob, as well as Raven Software, Treyarch, High Moon Studios and Solid State Studios.
At the same time, the organization Communications Workers of America reported that none of the union members would be subject to cuts. At Activision Blizzard studios, there are unions at Raven Software and Blizzard Albany, which include testers.
Simultaneously with the announcement of layoffs at Microsoft, Blizzard Entertainment's co-founder Allen Adham and President Mike Ybarra left.
It is not known exactly what proportion of layoffs are accounted for by ZeniMax Media and the Xbox team.